The World T.E.A.M. Sports Board of Directors provides strategic vision and management for the organization’s efforts. The Board meets regularly to ensure the organization remains on mission and is performing efficiently.
2015 Board of Directors
James M. Benson currently serves as CEO of Benson Botsford, LLC, a financial services investment company. Mr. Benson is former president and chief executive officer of John Hancock Life Insurance Company, a division of Manulife Financial. Additionally, Mr. Benson served on the Manulife Executive and Management Committees. Prior to joining Hancock in 2002, Mr. Benson was president of MetLife’s Individual Business enterprise, which manufactures and distributes insurance and investment products. He also was chairman, president and chief executive officer of Boston-based New England Financial, as well as chairman, president and chief executive officer of GenAmerica Financial Corporation, both MetLife affiliates. Before joining New England Financial and MetLife in 1997, Mr. Benson held the dual position of president and chief operating officer of Equitable Companies, Inc., and was chief executive officer of its flagship life insurance operation, Equitable Life Assurance Society.
As a foundation for these executive positions, Mr. Benson built upon a 25-year track record in development and leadership of insurance distribution organizations.
Mr. Benson graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.A. in Economics and earned an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. He serves on several boards, including Sapient Corporation, United States Olympic Committee, Hospital for Special Surgery, and the University of Illinois Foundation. In addition, he is founder and chairman of World T.E.A.M. Sports, an organization dedicated to providing opportunities through sports activities for people with disabilities. Mr. Benson has participated in numerous events with the organization during the last two decades.
In 2006, Mr. Benson received the John Newton Russell Memorial Award, the life insurance industry’s highest honor.
Lon Dolber is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of American Portfolios, a firm which he founded in 2001. American Portfolios Financial Services Inc. is an independent broker-dealer with over 800 brokers and 375 branch offices with over 18 billion dollars under management. Lon has over 34 years experience as a financial service professional combining financial product and services knowledge with a strong technological and operational background.
In addition Lon serves as American Portfolios Chief Information Officer providing leadership and strategic thinking to the business challenge of using technology to provide service and support to the firm’s financial service professionals.
Mr. Dolber began his career in the financial services industry in New York City in 1978. Excelling as a financial services representative, he established a base of over 700 clients with 40 million dollars in assets under management. By the early 1990’s, Mr. Dolber was the Registered Principal of one of the largest offices of an independent broker dealer based in Bryan, Ohio. During this time period, Lon was responsible for branch development, recruiting and compliance for over 125 registered representatives.
Lon served on the FINRA District Committee # 10 (New York) from January 2004 through December 2006 and currently serves on the FINRA Technology Committee.
Mr. Dolber has participated in numerous events with World T.E.A.M. Sports, including the annual Face of America ride, the Return to Kilimanjaro Expedition, the Adventure TEAM Challenge in Colorado, the Coastal Team Challenge in the Pacific Northwest, segments of the cross-country Sea to Shining Sea ride, and is co-director of the annual Adventure Team Challenge, New York.
Mr. Fries is a lifelong cycling evangelist and event consultant with extensive experience in sponsorship, marketing and communications. A native of Pittsburgh, he attended the University of South Florida where he first competed as a cyclist. Mr. Fries raced at the professional level, including a comical stint in Spain. Afterwards he received his masters in journalism from Northeastern University and settled in Boston. In New England he worked as a journalist and co-founded The Ride Magazine. He is well known as a cycling commentator, having done television, radio and live event announcing. Mr. Fries has served as the UCI English commentator at both the road and cyclo-cross world championships. He is also well regarded for his work as a fund raiser. Mr. Fries served as the marketing director for the Best Buddies Challenge rides and as a development adviser for People for Bikes. As the event director of the Providence Cyclo-cross Festival, Fries was named Promoter of the Year by Behind the Barriers TV. The event was named the best American cyclo-cross event by both Outside Magazine and Cyclocross Magazine. In 2015 Mr. Fries was recruited to serve as the executive director of MassBike, a non-profit dedicated to improving cycling in Massachusetts. He lives along a bike path in Lexington, Massachusetts with his wife, Deborah and their three children.
Mary Mazzio, an award-winning documentary film director, Olympian, and former law firm partner, is Founder and CEO of 50 Eggs, Inc., an independent film production company. Mary wrote, directed and produced the highly-acclaimed award-winning films, TEN9EIGHT, The Apple Pushers, A Hero for Daisy, Contrarian, Apple Pie, and Lemonade Stories. She just wrapped up Underwater Dreams, narrated by Michael Peña and funded by the Bezos Family Foundation and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, which will be released in partnership with AMC Theatres and NBCUniversal in the Summer of 2014.
Ms. Mazzio, an Olympic athlete (1992-Rowing), is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Georgetown Law School. She is a recipient of several awards including an honorary degree from Mount Holyoke College; the Women’s Sports Foundation Journalism Award, a Gracie Award, a Myra Sadker Gender Equity Curriculum Award, a Henry Luce Foundation Fellowship (to Korea), the Mary Lyon Award (from Mount Holyoke College), and a Rotary Foundation Graduate Fellowship (to France). Ms. Mazzio, formerly a partner with the law firm of Brown Rudnick in Boston, Massachusetts, has served on a number of Boards of Directors including Shackleton Schools (which serve high school students in danger of dropping out of high school), Sojourner House (a homeless shelter), The Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, The Head of the Charles Regatta, The National Rowing Foundation, and World T.E.A.M Sports. She has also served as a judge for the Sports Emmys. The Schlesinger Library at Harvard University has requested all of Ms. Mazzio’s papers for its collection.
Ms. Mazzio has also been the keynote speaker at numerous events and ceremonies (both corporate and educational) across the nation, including: the State of Nebraska Convention on Economic Development; the NCAA Title IX Convention; The National Coalition of Girls’ Schools Convention, the Women’s Sports Foundation Convention, the National Association of Collegiate Women’s Athletic Administrators’ Convention, and USA Hockey’s Patty Kazmaier Awards (celebrating the best collegiate hockey player in the country) as well as hundreds of events at universities and high schools across the country.
Ms. Mazzio and her work have been featured in numerous media and her story has been chronicled in two books. She resides in Massachusetts with her husband, Jay Manson, and two children.
Peter Noris is a founder of Safe Harbor and is responsible for all investments, including the selection of investment subadvisors. Mr. Noris has over 32 years of experience in investment management, most recently as Chief Investment Officer of Ivy Asset Management, a US-based hedge fund-of-funds owned by Bank of New York Mellon. Previously, he served as a Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Bermuda-based insurance company Northstar Financial Services Ltd. For the previous nine years he was Chief Investment Officer of AXA Equitable Life Insurance, a leading life and annuity company in the US. Prior to AXA Equitable, he was an insurance asset/liability strategist at Salomon Brothers and Morgan Stanley, where he also structured equity derivatives.
Mr. Noris began his career with General Reinsurance, and holds a BS in finance and accounting from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, an MBA in finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.
George Puskar has been a leader in the U.S. institutional real estate industry for more than 40 years, heading the nation’s largest investment management company, Equitable Real Estate. He has also served on the boards of four NYSE listed real estate investment trusts, many trade associations and two universities. He has also been a leader in the disabled sports movement as a board member of World T.E.A.M. Sports since 1995 and a member of the Paralympic Advisory Committee.
Mr. Puskar has been an active participant, designer and fundraiser for many World T.E.A.M. Sports events including AXA World Ride, The Vietnam Challenge, Face of America, the 1996 Paralympic Torch Parade from the White House to Olympic Stadium in Atlanta, and most recently, the two Sea To Shining Sea cross-country bicycling events.
Michael Row is a Managing Director for the Global Client Relationships group and a member of the Executive Committee for Pershing LLC, a BNY Mellon company. Mr. Row has leadership responsibility for the Relationship Management, Account Management and General Client Service teams for Pershing’s domestic introducing broker-dealer businesses.
Mr. Row joined Pershing’s Client Service department in 1987 and has worked with a broad range of financial organizations. During his career at Pershing, Mr. Row has assumed all roles within the core Pershing service model, including client service representative, account manager and relationship manager. Mr. Row has also managed the Relationship Management function for Pershing Advisor Solutions, which provides custody, technology and reporting solutions to registered investment advisors.
Mr. Row earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Rutgers University and has also completed the Securities Industry Institute® program, sponsored by SIFMA, at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Paul Tyler, a financial service executive, joined World T.E.A.M. Sports as CEO and President in March 2012. He served in this position until his retirement in October, 2013. During his term, he participated in the Face of America ride, the Adventure TEAM Challenge in Colorado and in selected stages of the 2012 Sea to Shining Sea cross-country ride.
Mr. Tyler currently serves as Senior Vice President, Strategy & Corporate Development of Fidelity & Guaranty Life. Mr. Tyler is responsible for corporate strategy, brand development, marketing communication, social media and mobile applications. Prior to joining FGL, Mr. Tyler worked at MetLife, an insurance company, in a variety of roles for 14 years. He held strategic leadership roles in operations, technology, sales, compliance and was Chief of Staff to the President of MetLife’s retail business. Prior to his service at MetLife, Mr. Tyler worked in management consulting as a project manager for Monitor Group, specializing in the financial services and telecommunications industries. He earned his A.B. from Princeton University and his J.D. from Cornell Law School.
An experienced triathlete and writer, Mr. Tyler started and directs 1837 Media, a digital media marketing and communications company. Through this company, he launched TriEssential, a website and iPhone application that provides training tips, news and information for active triathletes.
John Villar is Vice President and Senior Business Banker at Capital One Bank. In this role, Mr. Villar works with small to mid-sized companies and non-profit organizations to help increase their profitability and grow their business. Prior to joining Capital One, Mr. Villar spent ten years working at an international bank, supporting global companies based in the Washington DC area. Mr. Villar also worked in technology sales for several Global 100 companies, including Xerox, Canon, and Siemens. Mr. Villar lives in Alexandria, Virginia with his fiancée and enjoys spending time outdoors, especially on his bike. He holds a BS in Criminal Justice from Eastern Tennessee State University.
As an avid cyclist, Mr. Villar first became involved in World T.E.A.M. Sports in 2012, when he organized the first Capital One Team to participate in the Face of America ride. In 2013 Mr. Villar grew the Capital One Team from 10 to 47 participants, who collectively raised $50,000 to support World T.E.A.M. Sports‘ mission. Mr. Villar has served on the Boards of the Alexandria Sportsman Club and DC Greenworks, and has actively raised funds for the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society and the Livestrong Foundation.
Stephen H. Whisnant is the founder and managing director of Stephen Whisnant Strategies, LLC. He previously served as director of philanthropy at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and a managing director for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), where he assisted with a number of special projects, including work with the U.S. Paralympics and the U.S. Olympic Foundation Trustee group. Prior to joining the USOC, Mr. Whisnant served as the campaign director for the “Building for Peace Campaign” of the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). The headquarters project, a $186,000,000 campaign, provided a permanent home for USIP that includes an expansive Global Peacebuilding Center on the northwest corner of the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Whisnant has an extensive background in fund development and general management and senior leadership positions in nonprofit work. Prior to joining USIP he served as Vice President of Development and Investor Relations at Venture Philanthropy Partners. He also has consulted with a number of national and international organizations, advising them on their development plans, strategic planning, board development and general operations. He served full-time as Senior Director of Development and Non-Profit Initiatives, and then as a consultant to Paul Allen, Jody Patton and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation in Seattle, Washington. He developed long-term fundraising and operations strategies for the Experience Music Project, the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Documentary Film division of Vulcan Productions, and the Microcomputer Gallery in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Mr. Whisnant spent fourteen years in higher education as a senior development officer and adviser, including ten years at Harvard University and three years at Davidson College; his tenure included work in alumni relations, major gifts and two capital campaigns. He gained political fundraising experience during his tenure as the first-ever Executive Director of the Presidential and Democratic Party Victory Fund in support of the 1988 presidential race.
During his tenure at Harvard, he became actively involved in the community service movement, especially among athletes, and in 1993 he opened the doors of World T.E.A.M. Sports, an international sports nonprofit committed to offering rich and dynamic programs to all levels of athletes, especially persons with disabilities. He served as the organization’s first Executive Director/CEO for eleven years. The organization received international recognition for its work in advancing educational and medical initiatives through sports events and programming. Mr. Whisnant oversaw the production of four documentary films and numerous award-winning educational curricula. He is a recipient of an Emmy Award, serving as an Executive Producer of “Vietnam, Long Time Coming.”
In addition to serving the National Democratic Institute, he currently provides consulting services to Layalina Productions, Levitt Pavilions, the American Cancer Society, the Asia Society, the US Institute of Peace and Venture Philanthropy Partners.
He holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina and a Master’s in Education from Harvard University. In addition to serving as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Women’s Sports Foundation, he serves as a trustee, director or adviser, respectively, for World T.E.A.M. Sports, Outward Bound USA, PeacePlayers International, Athletes United for Social Justice, and Fencing in Schools. He has presented frequently at national conferences, contributes to regional and national publications, and he was awarded a Lyndhurst Prize by the Lyndhurst Foundation for his work and commitment to community service.
Mr. Whisnant, his wife, and son, reside in Washington, D.C. His wife, Liz, is Principal of the Horace Mann School and Max is a ninth grader at St. Albans School.
Ambassador L. Paul Bremer’s diplomatic service spanned eight Presidents with service in Afghanistan, Malawi, and Norway. Ambassador Bremer served as Ambassador to the Netherlands and Ambassador at Large for Counter-Terrorism.
In the 1990s he was a businessman. In 1999, Ambassador Bremer was Chairman of the Bipartisan National Commission on Terrorism. He served on the President’s Homeland Security Advisory Committee.
Ambassador Bremer served as Presidential Envoy to Iraq. His book, “My Year in Iraq,” was a best-seller. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his service.
Ambassador Bremer received his B.A. from Yale University, a CEP from the Institut D’Etudes Politiques and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He speaks French, Norwegian and Dutch.
In 2010, Ambassador Bremer rode across the United States with the Sea to Shining Sea ride from World T.E.A.M. Sports. The Ambassador has also participated in the Face of America ride from Washington to Gettysburg and the Adventure TEAM Challenge in Colorado. The Ambassador served as the organization’s CEO and President from November 2010 until March 2012.
Since joining Florida Hospital in February 2013, Lieutenant General Mark Hertling serves as the Senior Vice President for Global Partnering, Physician Leadership Development, and the Healthy 100 Business. Prior to this, he served for nearly four decades as a Soldier in the US Army; at the time of his retirement in December 2012, he was Commanding General of US Army Europe. LTG Hertling commanded units at every level from platoon to Army, including training organizations at the National Training Center in California and the Joint Multi-National Training Center in Germany. He also commanded the Army’s 1st Armored Division in combat, during one of three combat tours.
LTG Hertling has a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Military Academy (West Point), and holds Masters Degrees in History, International Relations and Exercise Physiology. In addition to working with Florida Hospital, Mark serves on the Advisory Panel of the non-profit organization “Mission Readiness,” and President Obama recently appointed him as one of 20 members of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sport and Nutrition. He is married to his best friend, Sue, and they have two sons and two grandsons. He loves being with family, reading history, bicycling, and any form of athletic activity.
General Robert Magnus was born in Brooklyn, New York. He enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1964 and retired in 2008 after 39 years in the Marine Corps. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia (BA History) and Strayer College (MS Business Administration). His assignments included duties as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Aviation from 1995-1997; Commander, Marine Corps Air Bases Western Area 1997-1999; Deputy Commander, Marine Forces Pacific 1999-2000; Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Policies and Operations 2000-2001; Deputy Commandant for Programs and Resources 2001-2005; and as the 30th Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps 2005-2008.
General Magnus currently is Chairman of the Board, Elbit Systems of America; and a Director on the Boards of Agusta Westland NA; EnerSys; and Fairway Group Holdings. He is Chairman of the Editorial Board for the Common Defense Quarterly journal. He is a consultant to Huntington Ingalls, Inc., and Northrop Grumman, as well as an advisor to Judlau Contracting. He advises the non-profit organizations World T.E.A.M. Sports, the International Center for the Migration of Birds, the Jewish War Veterans, and the U.S. Global Leadership Council. He is the past Chairman of the Board of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation (2009-2011) and former Grand Paramount of the Military Order of the Carabao (2012-2013).
General Magnus is married to the former Meredith Oveta Edge of Macon, Georgia. They reside in Brunswick, Georgia.